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Cellular core ABS

Post about things you have launched or thought about launching. Also post about various materials used for building cannons. No posts about explosive projectiles!
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Cellular core ABS

Unread postAuthor: Moonbogg » Fri Nov 21, 2008 7:41 am

OK...I have searched and have not found conclusive info on this. I am building a metered propane combustion, and the only pipe in 4" I can find is cellular core ABS. I have it as my combustion chamber. I have read some people say its fine, while others say it will surely explode on you. If all I use is propane should it be OK? I can't seem to find solid wall ABS ANYWHERE in the entire United States of America.
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Unread postAuthor: jackssmirkingrevenge » Fri Nov 21, 2008 7:54 am

It's not guaranteed to explode on your first shot, but the chances are high enough for me not to consider it personally. You might feel luckier.
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Unread postAuthor: TurboSuper » Fri Nov 21, 2008 8:24 am

Well...regular ABS is fine, but cellcore is kind of pushing it.

You may get 1000 shots without it exploding, or you may get 5. The point is it isn't rated to hold much pressure so the quality control isn't very strict.
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Unread postAuthor: starman » Fri Nov 21, 2008 1:07 pm

Solid wall 3 and 4" PVC is becoming more and more rare in the Home Depot's and Lowe's of the world. Even the little 2' "project pipe" pieces have moved to cell core in my area.

Seek out a mom and pop hardware store or maybe some Ace hardware stores in your area. If they don't have it, just ask them where pressure rated PVC is available locally and they will usually send you down the street to your local commercial plumbing supply where construction companies buy. You may have to buy in sections as long as 20' so take a saw and a pickup truck with you.

You can also order pipe from McMaster Carr, Fastenal, Flexpvc and others.
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Unread postAuthor: Moonbogg » Fri Nov 21, 2008 3:14 pm

Thank you for your replies, it is much appreciated.
Are there any cases reported, or do you guys know of cell core abs ever failing? Besides just rumours...have you heard of several cases of it failing? there is a huge sprinkler supply house near me..pressure rated PVC is available to me..but I don't want to use shrapnel prone PVC..I don't like the idea of it weakening in the sun also, plus if it gets dropped or banged or whatever...and it fails its shrapnel city. Solidwall ABS is impossible to find...so anyway...are there cases of cellcore ABS failing in combustions or is it just rumours?
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Unread postAuthor: jackssmirkingrevenge » Fri Nov 21, 2008 3:42 pm

I'd stick to pressure rated stuff if I were you, extremely unlikely to generate shrapnel in a combustion.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yAw2CofWBKY&feature=related[/youtube]
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Unread postAuthor: Moonbogg » Fri Nov 21, 2008 4:08 pm

Yeah I've seen that before. Looks like he was using a clay flower pot lol. I've been looking for videos of spud gun accidents and explosions and theres a lot of them, but most are of the caps flying off. I found one where it looked like an entire PVC chamber blew up...sorry I dont know how to link the video so it shows here, but heres the link itself.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CtintwPNXug
I wish I knew what kind of pipe that was.
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Unread postAuthor: jackssmirkingrevenge » Fri Nov 21, 2008 4:16 pm

That video and other mishaps were discussed here

As mentioned before, the consensus seems to be that while it will not necessarily fail - indeed there are those who have made cellcore ABS combustions with no failure - it's a bit of a game of spudgun roulette.

In the even that it does fail, the chances of life-threatening injury are extremely remote, so really it's up to you. It's generally not recommended though ;)
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Unread postAuthor: Moonbogg » Fri Nov 21, 2008 4:23 pm

Right, its like even if it does fail, its not like its gonna be a frag grenade or anything. From what I understand, ABS is a bit more forgiving when it fails. Thanks again for the replies.
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Unread postAuthor: Hotwired » Fri Nov 21, 2008 4:31 pm

Just forget about pressure rated ABS if you're in America, it's not a popular product there. A search for ABS pipe (in english) brings up dozens of suppliers and every single one is in the UK.

Only a charged PVC pneumatic can shatter with any kind of danger if dropped sharply onto a hard object, you're after a non-hybrid combustion so the only issues left are remembering to keep long barrels tied down so they don't stress corner fittings and not letting it recoil into something hard.

Aside from that, there is no problem for pressure rated PVC and a combustion.

ABS will also degrade in sunlight btw, it's not just PVC but suitable painting will help both.
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Unread postAuthor: Moonbogg » Fri Nov 21, 2008 5:31 pm

I was hoping to hear that it would be OK...but everyone seems to stay away from it. I'm pissed cause I already got the thing almost done, but I think I might go ahead and rebuild out of SCH40 PVC just for the peace of mind. Man, that sucks.
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Unread postAuthor: MrCrowley » Fri Nov 21, 2008 5:33 pm

Moonbogg wrote:I was hoping to hear that it would be OK...but everyone seems to stay away from it. I'm pissed cause I already got the thing almost done, but I think I might go ahead and rebuild out of SCH40 PVC just for the peace of mind. Man, that sucks.

Just because it says SCH 40, doesn't mean it's pressure rated.

Read this:
http://www.spudfiles.com/spud_wiki/inde ... _Rated_PVC
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Unread postAuthor: BigGrib » Fri Nov 21, 2008 6:16 pm

MrCrowley wrote:Just because it says SCH 40, doesn't mean it's pressure rated.


True True. Sch is just a way to guage wall thickness. Anyway, I have never used Pressure Rated ABS, mainly because I live in America, the land of the free and the home of Cell Core ABS, and I have never had a problem with it. Now this is not to say that I'll never have a problem with it, I just haven't so far (10 years). I will tell you that if you are using metered propane at a 4.2% mix, you're not going to generate a chamber pressure much over 100psi, unless you really jam something down the barrel super freakin tight. I fire golf balls out of mine just to give you something to compare how tight the barrel is gonna be. Just make sure that you construct the thing according to the safety guidlines, ie properly solvent welding your joints, drilling through 2 layers of material, etc., found on the site here.

Happy Spudding
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Yea, that's definitely going to get you at least a tazer.

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Unread postAuthor: Moonbogg » Fri Nov 21, 2008 6:27 pm

YES!!! Exactly what I wanted to hear!!! Alright, I constructed it very carefully, making sure to deburr, sand all edges before joining, cleaning and drying and even twisting upon joining. I only have holes drilled in the double layer of thickness. I will wear safety glasses for the first few rounds and then if it doiesn't blow, thats good enough for me. Wish me luck.

PS...Do you think a tight fitting orange would be too tight and too heavy? Would you consider this pressing my luck even farther? Or would it not be much different than a potato.
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Unread postAuthor: Fnord » Fri Nov 21, 2008 7:13 pm

I can second the pro-cellcore opinion, but I'd keep the safety glasses on.
I also have a cell core abs gun, and it's seen a few hundred shots by now. Mine is made from 3" pipe, though.

Also, an orange should be no different than a potato.
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